You’ve manage to avoid it for so long, but it’s time to implement an ERP System for your small business. Apart from going to Google and typing in “Small business ERP system”, what exactly are you looking for? Like anything you need to buy for your business, you don’t want to be wasting your money, and an ERP system can be expensive if you don’t know what you’re getting. Implementing an ERP system into any business can take time, and in a small business, that time is precious. An ERP system is simply a software solution that combines multiple business software packages into a single, fully-integrated solution to make your business more efficient. It should combine products that are often utilised, such as small business accounting, payroll and HR, time and attendance, fixed asset management, customers and CRM, inventory and stock control, as well as SCM, MRP and more.
So, what should you be asking yourself when you sit down to search for a small business ERP system?
- Who will be making the decision on the new software?
Are you the CEO who is rarely hands-on in the office because you’re developing the business, or are you too bogged down in a management role to understand what employees actually need to do their job? What will a small business ERP system do for them, or in some cases, will it eliminate them altogether?
Speak to all your staff members about their role and the products they use. Find out about any issues they have come across that they would like resolved, and if they any ideas on what could be improved upon. It’s important to make sure that everyone who needs to be involved is from the start, otherwise something important might be over-looked.
- What products and processes can be replaced and combined?
This is a question that probably needs to be answered before you even enter anything into the search bar on Google. If you’re not sure what products you have and what they do for your business, you could be searching for a result that won’t give you what you really need. Are you a food producer that requires an extensive batch tracking process, or maybe you’re a plastic tank manufacturer that handles extensive work orders and job costings.
Make a list of your software products and what their purpose is. In a second column, list all the features that are a requirement, and in a third column, list all the features that would be nice to have. It’s important to make sure that you fulfill the requirements of the software before all the bells and whistles.
- When do you need to implement your new software?
A small business ERP system is a highly-functional software product that needs to be planned for. Unlike an app on your phone that you can install within seconds, Implementing ERP software needs to have discussions around when is the best time to implement these changes, as each business is vastly different. A good time to make a lot of these changes might be around the financial year, but for some business this is a nightmare scenario as it’s the busiest period. Consequently, another business might be busier around the holiday season and making the change before the financial year will make perfect sense.
Think clearly about when it’s a beneficial time for you to install new business management software. Ensure that you can allocate staff and time to the implementation process so that it runs smoothly and everyone is trained correctly.
- Where in the business do you need to make the change?
Is your business heavily admin focussed with spreadsheets that record multiple data points, or are you in an industry with large factory floors and heavy equipment? How and where will everyone need to access to your new ERP system to keep doing their job effectively? Will business management software provide a solution to all areas of your business, both admin and manual, across all departments?
It’s important to understand how an ERP system will affect the entire business, even if not everyone will have access to it. More often than not, some processes and procedures will change and there will be a period of adjustment as the software is implemented. Keep all staff informed of what is happening, because it might indirectly affect those who are doing a job outside of the ERP system’s control. Communication is key.
- Why do you need a small business ERP system?
It should go without saying that if you don’t know why you need a change in your business management software, how do you know what to change? Is there a factory floor situation that needs a better process to ensure employee safety, or are you processing so many orders that your stock control is always an issue? Is time being wasted entering data into multiple products because they’re not integrated?
Work out the benefits of what business management software can actually do for your business. Even though the costs might be more expensive initially, if you save employees time by making their jobs more efficient, you will get more work out of them for the same amount of time. Get in touch with our business specialists who have calculators to show you your ROI on these investments.
When the time comes to start looking into the best small business ERP system for your business, take a look at Accentis Enterprise. Built specifically for the small to medium-sized business market, Accentis Enterprise is the ERP system that helps to improve your business efficiency through quality product features you need. Contact us to find out more and ask about our “No interest for 12months” finance option!